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Rhodes 2.0 Brings HD Audio-Video Streaming, Is Now Free Under MIT License

by Mirko Stocker on May 04, 2010 |

Rhomobile today announced a new major version of Rhodes, the cross-platform framework for smartphones:

Rhodes 2.0 allows developers to rapidly build native apps for all major smartphones including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian as well as the iPad. Rhodes 2.0, available for free, provides developers with powerful enhancements including faster sync, and optimized native styling for all smartphones and new capabilities including advanced multimedia support and a metadata framework that supports applications with changing underlying schema.

Until now, Rhodes was dual licensed under the GPL and a commercial license ($500 per application), but from version 2.0 on, it is completely free and open under an MIT license (note that the sync server RhoSync is not free, but if you don't need to provide synchronized offline data, you now won't need to buy a license anymore).

An other very interesting new feature is bi-directional HD audio and video streaming, which "allows developers to easily add live audio and video capture and playback capabilities to their smartphone apps".

InfoQ talked to Rhomobile CEO Adam Blum. Adam explains:

Specifically you can write an app that captures audio and video from the device. You could have an iPhone app that lets people do videoconferencing or capture video of, say, a field service problem inside that field service app.

Another addition that makes developing against customized and changing database schemas a lot easier is Rhodes' new metadata framework:

This is critical to enable smartphone apps to be written for large enterprise applications such as SAP or SugarCRM (ERP or CRM apps), because no company uses an "out of the box" schema. Very few apps on the App Store work against big ERP or CRM apps because of this. The metadata framework lets you write apps where the displayed forms and pages are not hardcoded but are driven by backend metadata

Rhodes developers use Ruby to write the application logic for smartphone apps. Regarding Apple's App Store and the recent discussion around the iPhone developer license change, will it still be possible to use Rhodes for iPhone and iPad development? In a blog post Adam writes that they "believe that we are compliant with the new iPhone 4.0 SDK rules, and we believe Rhodes apps will continue to be to be accepted on the App Store after adoption of the new TOS". There are also some new products coming out to "facilitate enterprise app distribution for iPhones and other devices, completely bypassing any App Store". 

The public beta of Rhodes 2.0 starts today, and the final release will be ready later this month.

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